Entries by Ze'ev Wurman

Breaking the Code: The State of Computer Science Education in America’s Public Schools

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has further transitioned education towards electronic devices, computer science education in K-12 public schools around the country faces a number of daunting challenges. These include insufficient access to computer science classes and clarity about computer science curricula, inadequate teacher preparation, and uneven interest on the part of institutions of higher education.  

Axioms of Excellence: Kumon and the Russian School of Mathematics

At a time of declining state and national math proficiency, after-school math programs offer a viable option for quickly increasing the number of mathematically competent students. In this study, Pioneer Institute profiles two such programs: Kumon and the Russian School of Mathematics.

Common Core’s Validation: A Weak Foundation for a Crooked House

The final version of the Common Core standards was released in June 2010. Also released at the same time was a report containing the signatures of 24 members of the Common Core Validation Committee, a committee appointed in the summer of 2009 to review the various drafts of the standards and to assure the public that the standards in mathematics and English language arts were research-based, rigorous, and internationally competitive.

National Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade

The case for national standards rests in part on the need to remedy the inconsistent purposes and inferior quality of many state standards and tests in order to equalize academic expectations for all students. The argument also addresses the urgent need to increase academic achievement for all students.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

The academic and economic implications of Common Core’s definition of college and career readiness standards in ELA and mathematics should be receiving extensive examination by every local and state school board in the country, by editorial boards in all major media, and by the U.S. Congress before cash-strapped states are coerced by the USED’s criteria for RttT funds, membership in test consortia, or Title I funds into committing themselves to Common Core’s standards. That they have not is perhaps the most serious matter of all.

Why Race to the Middle?

In short, the rush to move from 50 state standards to a single set of standards for 50 states in less than one year, as well as the lack of transparency in CCSSI’s procedures, have excluded the kind and extent of public discussion merited by the huge policy implications of such a move.